Once again top brass at Japan’s third largest shipping line, Kawasaki Kisen Kaisha (K Line) are fearing for their jobs as a key shareholder has called for their removal. For the second time in consecutive years the Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) has recommended that shareholders vote against the reelection of Jiro Asakura as chairman and Eizo Murakami as president and CEO at an AGM scheduled for June 21.
ISS claims Tokyo-listed K Line has underperformed in terms of capital efficiency, posting an average return on equity (ROE) of less than 5% over the last five fiscal years.
K Line has responded however urging shareholders to keep faith with top management who are pushing through reforms to improve ROE.
“We do not foresee a full recovery in the market and in light of this, we have continued to carry out structural reforms, continued cost reductions and improvements to the efficiency of the allocation of the fleet,” K Line stated.
Summing up, K Line stated: “We once again would like to humbly request that you as shareholders exercise your voting right based not on ISS’s recommendation of an against vote based solely on formulaic criteria lacking in individual analysis of the reality of our business, but on the stewardship code and full understanding of our incessant efforts and the results to enhance and improve our business performance.”